The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has released the second edition of its Whole Life Carbon Assessment (WLCA) standard for the Built Environment sector. Originally published in 2017 for the UK, this updated global version provides a more comprehensive understanding of the carbon costs and benefits associated with design choices in construction and infrastructure projects.
The new standard, developed in collaboration with the UK’s Department for Transport and Net Zero Waste Scotland, has been revised to cover all built assets and infrastructure projects across their entire lifecycle. With the Built Environment accounting for 40% of global carbon emissions and 50% of extracted materials, the WLCA standard is crucial for meeting emissions reduction targets and achieving net-zero goals.
This Professional Standard is not only important for those involved in carbon assessments but also for clients, investors, and property managers. Carbon reporting and accounting are priorities across all sectors. In the UK, the RICS WLCA methodology will be incorporated into the development of a Net Zero Carbon Building Standard, and it is hoped that other countries will also adopt these methodologies into their regulatory frameworks.
RICS will be promoting the new standard during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, where the organization is an accredited partner. RICS Chief Executive, Justin Young, emphasized the global importance of this standard and expressed gratitude to the members, staff, partners, and participating organizations that contributed to its development.
The second edition of WLCA enables the industry to measure and manage its impact on climate change by providing a consistent methodology for assessing the carbon emissions of buildings throughout their entire lifecycle. The standard aligns with circular economy principles and encourages the use of secondary materials, renewable low-carbon materials, and digital tools to create value at the end of a building’s life.
By implementing WLCA, the built environment sector can make significant strides towards a sustainable, net-zero future. With this new edition, RICS continues its role as a global leader in promoting decarbonization in the industry.
– The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. “RICS launches second edition of Whole Life Carbon Assessment for Built Environment standard.” Retrieved from [source]
– United Nations.